Apple has begun testing the next major update to its new industry-leading OS, Leopard, a report claims.

The report, which describes this update as: "One of the most hefty maintenance releases put out by the company for its operating system software in recent years," claims the software has begun reaching third-party developers for testing.

AppleInsider claims the update affects 37 OS components, including tweaks, patches and improvements to: Data Detectors, the Mac OS X Dock, the Finder, grammar checking, iCal, iChat, Mail, Parental Controls, Quick Look, Rosetta, Safari, Time Machine, and Leopard's 802.11 AirPort implementation,

Apple's CUPS printing deployment and support for sending print jobs using an AirPort connection are also on the list, the report explains.

The report speculates the updated OS could ship in mid-January, 2008, when Apple is speculatively expected to release new or updated hardware.